Let me tell you from experience: working in retail is unlike any other job out there. You need to equip yourself with a particular set of skills. Unfortunately, a lot of them don’t transfer over from a traditional office-based environment. It’s going to be difficult if you’re new to the job and still learning the ropes. Here are a few things you’re going to need to know.
1. The Customer Is “Always Right”, But Not Always
No matter what you do, you need to ensure you treat the customer with respect. If they want something done, they are paying you to do it for them! However, there will be many occasions where the customer thinks they are entitled to something when they aren’t. In this case, try and find alternative arrangements or let them down gently. It’s irritating to deal with a situation where you know they’re in the wrong, but bite your tongue and be respectful!
2. That Sweet Commission Money
As much as a retail work environment is a fantastic way to make friends, it’s also a competitive place. If you’re working on commission, you better believe that everyone is trying to sell as many products as possible. If someone steals a deal away from you, don’t take it personally. Instead, be more vigilant and make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.
3. Mistakes Can Be Very Costly
In an office, shredding the wrong piece of paper or breaking a piece of equipment isn’t usually that severe of an issue. Selling a product for the wrong price or breaking stock can be a huge problem for a retail business, however. Also, it’s very common for thefts to take place in a retail store. Make sure you’re doing a regular audit on those barcodes to make sure you haven’t been stolen from!
4. You Need To Be A People Person
It should be a fairly obvious observation that you need to be a people person if you’re going to work in retail. You’ll have to talk to all sorts of customers all day, every day. I didn’t like it! As a result, I was only ever a mediocre salesman. If you have the gift of the gab, you’ll be able to sway customers into buying more and more products.
5. Each Day Is More Important Than The Last
If you have a particularly bad day at work, don’t dwell on it. Your bosses won’t be happy, and you’ll feel kind of lousy as a result, but it’ll all be forgotten about tomorrow! In retail, every day is more important than the last one. Sure, performing consistently badly is a bad sign, but as long as you turn that performance around soon, you’ll be just fine.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re just starting out. Retail is a lot harder to work in than many people give it credit for. In time, you’ll start to understand how things work. It won’t be long before you’re racking up the sales!